QLD market operator revealed

Big Top Market FreshThe owner of Noosa Farmers’ Markets, Shane Stanley, has been confirmed as the operator of the new Big Top Farmers’ Markets at Maroochydore in Queensland, expected to open in late 2014.

The Big Top Farmers’ Market concept will see more than 100 market stallholders operating on designated market days, including a Friday night artisan market.

The markets will form one component of the $20 million redevelopment of the Big Top complex in the Maroochydore CBD, which on completion in October 2014 will comprises a 10,000sqm hybrid market anchored by an existing Woolworths supermarket. The site is owned by Reed Property Group.

Stage One of Big Top’s construction has already begun with the refurbishment of a number of retail precincts along Ocean St. Stage Two will commence in February, with the replacement of the Big Top sails. A number of retailers including Woolworths, Malouf’s chemist and the Big Top Newsagency will remain open throughout the redevelopment.

Stanley is the founder and operator of the successful Noosa Farmers Markets, and also launched and operates four other markets in Queensland, including Kawana Waters Farmer Markets, North Queensland Farmers Markets, Brisbane Farmers Market, and The Whitsundays Farmers Market (now operated by the local community).
“We’re all about creating opportunity and helping the livelihood for the farmers and producers,” Stanley said.

“When we were presented with the opportunity to run our markets under the sails at the Big Top, we talked to our stallholders and they immediately saw the vision and opportunity.

“The Big Top has the potential to create a real food hub for the Sunshine Coast where local farmers and producers can sell their goods direct to customers in the one undercover central location.

A number of farmers and producers have already investing in extra staff, stock, and equipment to keep up with the additional demand of operating in the refurbished Big Top.

“It’s going to be really exciting and we’ve now got the ability to create a proper food hub for locals and visitors. The community have to have ownership of the markets so we’ll keep it authentic to reinforce the ‘farm gate to plate’ ethos which has been the hallmark of our business,” Stanley said.

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